Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I like this form.  It's quick, it's a sketch, it doesn't burden anyone with over ambition, a loss of message due to too much ego-identification with the process or result.  Thoughts are caught quickly in transitory form, like ripples left by the tide on a beach with kelp and seaweed and remains of things.

Dostoevsky reached for a form, after the years of practicing his amateur brilliant craft.  You have The Idiot, Prince Myshkin the epileptic with the femme fatal and the money guy, you have to have Notes from the House of the Dead for its journal experiences, you have to have the one with the horse head dream, before you get to the sublime story of true teachers, craftily deposited in the serial murder yarn of Karamazov, that is his pinnacle, that closing scene of Alyosha and schoolboys, and a small but happy vulnerable but strong 'hurrah,' that is also the story by a writer who knows that he is dying.

In a pure sense, worth entertaining as a deeper thought, I wonder if my father considered much of the modern academy fairly bankrupt as far as meeting the duties of the cleric, the educator.  Selfish careerism, the cagey politics catering to the business end of the animal...  In a way the last thing you'd want to criticize about society, the vulnerable people who do the job of teaching at the higher level.

It was as if my father could wipe out all the little differences and distinctions we make on the worldly level, to sweep away nationality and worldly purpose, for all the sciences and the sciences that are humanistic and even poetic to be taught for their original purposes of having other people learn what there is.

He belonged to a mystical realm as much as that of his employer.  He would teach, on anything that came across his mind, really, though, ostensibly, his subject was botany, or the societal use of plants.

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